Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Often overlooked in the bustle of a hectic work environment, sexual harassment is a very real and common occurrence in the office.
While each workplace has different policies regarding sexual harassment, most recognize unwelcome physical or verbal sexual advances as clear examples of abusive office behavior. These abuses don't have to be tolerated, and you may be due compensation if you've suffered them. A personal injury attorney may help you protect your rights.
If you have suffered physical or emotional injuries as a result of unwanted sexual harassment at your place of work, fill out the form below to get in contact with a local personal injury attorney.
Signs of Sexual Harassment
Occasionally, workers who experience sexual harassment are reluctant to report the incidents because they are unsure if the harasser’s behavior warrants a complaint. Other times, employees are afraid that reporting the harassment will lead to negative consequences, such as the loss of their job.
In order to feel more confident that you are entitled to a harassment-free workplace, know that sexual harassment at work can include:
- Offensive or unwelcome sexual conduct, including physical acts or verbal advances.
- The use of offensive sexual language that makes the workplace a hostile environment for the victim.
- Threats that an employee will be fired or not promoted unless they engage in a sexual act.
- Emails containing sexually explicit material.
- The telling of sexually explicit jokes, even if only overheard by a passerby.
Employees have a right to a safe work experience, and violations of any of the above likely constitute a direct breach of an employee’s legal rights.
Sexual Harassment Protections
Employers are required by federal law to provide workplaces that are free of sexual harassment. This is stipulated under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Moreover, each state has its own set of anti-harassment laws.
Whether the perpetrator is a co-worker, a manager, or a supervisor, you have the same legal right to work in an environment free of sexual harassment.
In addition, sexual harassment laws are not limited to a single gender. Whether you are a man or a woman, these workplace protections extend to you. Further, people of the same gender can harass each other, in addition to opposite sex harassment.
Fight Back Against Sexual Harassment
In order to prevent sexual harassment from occurring in your workplace, consider trying these simple strategies:
- Create clear sexual harassment guidelines and post them prominently around the office.
- These guidelines should clearly define what acts constitute sexual harassment, and the potential consequences for violating the rules.
- Conduct regular training sessions for your employees, in which the harassment rules are clearly stated.
Even if these are in place, you could still find sexual harassment occurring where you work. If this happens, don't sit by silently. Take a stand for your rights.
If you're not sure how to proceed, speak with a local personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can answer your questions and help you take action.
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, contact a local injury lawyer today to learn more about your legal rights under federal and state laws.